Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on FTA Utilizations by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

SME 11 2017A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 11 2017A 

Project Title

APEC Capacity Building Workshop on FTA Utilizations by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

110,000 

Co-funding Amount

30,585 

Total Project Value

140,585 

Sponsoring Forum

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) 

Topics

Small and Medium Enterprises 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Viet Nam 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Malaysia; Mexico; Peru; Russia; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/12/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/07/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Pham Quynh Mai 

Job Title 1

Deputy Director General 

Organization 1

Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade 

Postal Address 1

54 Hai Ba Trung St, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

Telephone 1

84-4 22205422 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

maipq@moit.gov.vn; patbeo81@gmail.com 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Pham Quynh Mai 

Project Summary

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the engines of growth and innovation in the APEC region. MSMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, with MSMEs' share of GDP ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent in the majority of APEC economies. However, only a limited percentage of SMEs engage in overseas activities due to limited knowledge in taking advantage of FTAs to effectively integrate into the regional and global supply chain.

The proposed project (Rank 1), in form of a Capacity Building Workshop, will target at providing in-depth information on existing FTAs and methods for FTA utilization (particularly in trade in services, trade in goods) to SMEs (including experts from SME association). In addition, SMEs and experts from SME associations and supporting organizations will have an opportunity to highlight the constraints in utilizing FTAs in their operational and import/export activities. Viet Nam proposes to hold the Workshop in 2018 in Viet Nam.

Relevance

Relevance - APEC: Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the engines of growth and innovation in the APEC region. MSMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, with MSMEs' share of GDP ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent in the majority of APEC economies.

However, only a limited percentage of SMEs engage in overseas activities due to limited knowledge in taking advantage of FTAs to effectively integrate into the regional and global supply chain. In this regard, one of the key pillars under the “APEC Iloilo Initiative: Growing Global MSMEs for Inclusive Development” by APEC SME Ministers (Iloilo, Philippines, 25 Sep 2015) is “improving mechanism for knowledge sharing on trade facilitation, business support, partnerships, and capacity building activities for MSMEs”. This pillar will feature information on inclusive business models, cases of successful MSMEs export businesses, lessons extracted from successful experiences of internationalization and, cooperation among economies, including APEC projects and activities in support of MSMEs which aim to disseminate information on trade capacity building programs implemented collectively by APEC, individual or group of economies, or the private sector.

Particularly, the SMEWG Strategic Plan 2017-2020 highlighted one of four priority areas is “market access for SMEs” with the objectives to strengthen SMEs’ export capabilities and capacity for internationalization. It is apparent that enhancing FTA utilization by MSMEs will contribute to the enhancement of export capacities of MSMEs as well as to fulfil instructions by SME Ministers in 2015.

The proposed project, in form of a Capacity Building Workshop, will target at providing in-depth information on existing FTAs and methods for FTA utilization (particularly in trade in services, trade in goods) to SMEs (including experts from SME association). In addition, SMEs and experts from SME associations and supporting organizations will have an opportunity to highlight the constraints in utilizing FTAs in their operational and import/export activities.

Relevance – Rank: This project falls under Rank 1 as it helps to strengthen competitiveness for MSMEs through an effort to promote SMEs’ export capabilities and capacity for internationalization.

Objectives

1)  Equip MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations with knowledge and skills on FTA utilization to improve their competitiveness and access to global and regional markets;

2)  Share experiences and best practices among MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations in taking advantages of FTAs for internationalizing their goods and services; and

3) Network MSMEs and experts from MSME associations and supporting organizations.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC: In the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration, it is said “We recognize the significance of enabling the full participation of all sectors and segments of our society, especially...micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to achieving inclusive growth. We underscore the importance of empowering them with the ability to contribute to and benefit from future growth.”  In addition, APEC Leaders also reiterated “the significance of the participation of MSMEs in global commerce to inclusive growth and will take action to facilitate such participation. We recognize that internationally-oriented MSMEs can make substantial contributions to poverty reduction through employment creation, productivity improvements, and economies of scale.”

In 2016 APEC Economic Leaders emphasized that “Strengthening of MSMEs will imply concrete progress in increasing their innovation capacities and competitiveness, including intellectual property rights commercialization, work towards guaranteeing access to financial means and capacity building, enhancing their participation in the internet and digital economy and through electronic commerce, reducing the technological gap, strengthening ethical business practices to support MSMEs’ growth and cross border trade, progressively inducing a shift into a more sustainable, eco-friendly and green production, and supporting their internationalization including through the means of ICT.”

This project will help to implement Leaders’ instructions as it will contribute to the long-term enhancement of capacities of MSMEs in utilizing FTAs to reap benefits from free and open trade and investment.

Alignment – Forum: This project is in line with the 2017-2020 SMEWG Strategic Plan as in the Plan, one of four priority areas is “market access for SMEs” with the objectives to strengthen SMEs’ export capabilities and capacity for internationalization. It is apparent that enhancing FTA utilization by MSMEs will contribute to the enhancement of export capacities of MSMEs as well as to fulfil instructions by SME Ministers in 2015.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project applies for APEC Support Fund (MSME Sub-fund). 

SMEs play an important role in economic activities in all APEC developing economies. They account for approximately 99% of all APEC developing economies’ businesses and employ between 50 and 97 per cent of employment in many economies. In addition, the contribution of SMEs to GDP is generally significant, about 30-60 per cent, and the contribution of SMEs to GDP is generally 19-31 per cent. They are also the largest source of domestic employment across all economic sectors. The SME sector also provides opportunities for women and youth to participate in the economic development.

Since this project is expected to enhance our SMEs global competitiveness by providing in-depth information on existing FTAs and methods for FTA utilization (particularly in trade in services, trade in goods) to SMEs, it will help to foster capacity of SMEs in developing economies in their internationalization.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: One of the outputs will be a 2-day Workshop held in Viet Nam in 2018. The Organizing Committee will invite speakers from the public and private sectors to present in-depth information on existing FTAs and methods for FTA utilization (particularly in trade in services, trade in goods). The Workshop will also include 1-2 exercises to train participants with using FTAs to benefit SMEs’ businesses. Furthermore, during the last session of the Workshop, lessons and recommendations suggested by Workshop attendants will be discussed.

Estimated indicators:
Number of participants and diversification of participants.

A report will be produced after the Workshop as one of the project’s outputs. This report will be composed of the following, but not limited to, sections: introduction of the project; briefings of the presentations made at the Workshop, including good practices (if any); briefings on discussions at the Workshop; suggested recommendations made by Workshop attendants and the project consultant.

Estimated indicators: (i) Progress of draft and final reports; (ii) Dissemination of draft and final reports to Workshop participants and SMEWG.

The third output of this project is the collaboration among Workshop attendants. A network will be built during and after this Workshop among participants. In addition, since the final session of the Workshop will focus on lessons learnt and recommendation for future activities, such identification of next steps will be one of critical outputs of this project.

Estimated indicators: Number of participants are interested in this project through practical activities.

Outcomes: Based on the Workshop’s presentations, discussions and recommendations, the Organizers hope that the Workshop participants can enhance their knowledge and interactions on FTA utilization by SMEs. Changes that the Workshop and report are expected to achieve would be more behavioral changes to participants in the Workshop. Based on the Workshop’s presentations, discussions and recommendations, the Organizers hope that the Workshop participants should learn as they listen to experts and other participants talk about FTAs and FTAs utilization state-of-play and challenges. Participants should have better understanding, knowledge (FTAs’ trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, trade facilitation) and interactions on FTA utilization by SMEs. Participants are encouraged to apply Workshop knowledge to their jobs and businesses, especially how to use trade in goods and trade in services preference to enjoy the benefits of FTAs.

It is also expected that based on the knowledge and lessons withdrawn from the Workshop, the Workshop participants will use inputs from the Workshop to hold similar training courses back home or raise useful suggestions in policy and practices once getting back to their home economies or organizations. 

This Workshop will also allow participating economies to begin or continue to advance the development of policies or specific measures that increase FTA utilizations by SMEs through recommendations suggested during the Workshop.Another possible change in policy and processes may happen in the framework of the SMEWG. By outreaching the Workshop’s set of recommendations to this Working Group, the Organizers may expect that a set of recommendations in policy, processes or behaviors will be endorsed at higher level, for example in the upcoming APEC SME Ministerial Meeting for further instructions and actions from Ministers. For example, due to technical complexity in market access by SMEs, there will be further support from APEC for SMEs to overcome these technical barriers. This, however, will depend on the progress of discussions and agreement in the Workshop.

Beneficiaries: The intended beneficiaries of this project are:

1) Member-economy SME-related and FTA-related regulators, policy-makers – who will acquire a better understanding on existing FTAs and methods for FTA utilization (particularly in trade in services, trade in goods) to SMEs.

2) APEC business representatives (SMEs, SME and business associations) – who will benefit from the ability to communicate their perspectives to officials and experts. Organizers will enhance outreach of this Workshop to a number of SMEs, SME and business associations, as well as interested stakeholders from ABAC and APEC sub-fora such as SMEWG, GOS, IEG.

3) Representatives from regional and international organizations (WTO, OECD, PECC, ESCAP etc.), the academic sector, ABAC, and other interested stakeholders (attending the Workshop as speakers/ moderators or participants) will benefit from information presented and exchanged at the Workshop as well as an opportunity for communicating with Workshop participants.

Regarding Workshop participation, the Organizers will send invitations through SMEWG focal points to call for participants to the Workshop. In such invitation, the Organizers will ask SMEWG focal points to choose a mix combination of public and private sector representatives to attend the Workshop. Information will also be sent to CTI, GOS, IEG to consider possible participation to the Workshop but SMEWG will remain as the only focal point to nominate participants (CTI, IEG, GOS focal points in an economy should work with respective SMEWG focal points to nominate participants).

The Organizers will encourage participants from SME associations or a typical MSME in an economy that have experience in utilizing FTAs since these participants will either be able to disseminate information from the Workshop to similar events in their home economies or able to provide pragmatic experience during Q&A at the Workshop. Such participants will be selected and nominated through APEC economies’ SMEWG focal points.

Dissemination

Number, form and content of any publication: Not Applicable.

Hard copies (speakers' presentations, exercises, reference documents) will be provided to all the Workshop's participants.  Electronic publication will also be used to disseminate the Workshop's documents widely and emailed to Workshop participants to encourage them to upload these documents to relevant websites in their home economies.  APEC's official website will be the main one to upload the documents.  A detailed report of the Workshop will also be prepared and submitted to the SMEWG for information.

There are no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Women will be directly and actively involved in the project. Both POs are women. The Workshop organizers will be careful to include women speakers and participants in the Workshop.  The organizers will encourage women to be involved during the preparatory stage and actual activity. Invitations sent to SMEWG focal points will take due consideration of gender concerns by encouraging the suggestion and nomination of female speakers and participants. 

In addition, the project proponents will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the Workshop will include information on gender for disaggregating of data for project assessment and will help in evaluation of specific responses of women and men.

As the number of women SME participating in actual operational activities of goods and services providing and export, as well as in FTA-related policy making processes has been increasing, women will also benefit from this Workshop. The Project’s outputs and all the Workshop materials will be uploaded to the APEC website, thanks to which women might access to the website for information and knowledge. 

Furthermore, the Workshop may include a Session on how and which women-owned enterprises or women-led organization can benefit from FTAs.

Work Plan

Below we have a tentative timetable for the implementation of the project:

Date

Activities

Deliverables

January – March 2018

- Draft program and develop agenda

- Seeking nomination of speakers/participants

Program agenda and topics

April - May 2018

- Send invitation letters

- Venue booking (logistics and documentation)

-   Follow up on participants and speakers

- Draft invitation and admin circular

- Workshop materials

June 2018

-   Two (2) day Workshop in

Host Workshop

July 2018

-   Circulation of draft summary report

-   Final report to be circulated to SMEWG

- Draft report

- Final Report

Risks

Risks associated with the Workshop will be minimal. One of the risks is ensuring the selection of good speakers in order to make the most of the Workshop. The Organizers will work with the co-sponsor economies to get recommendations of potential speakers. There may be last-minute speaker cancellations. That risk will be managed by identifying possible back-up speakers in advance of the event.

Another risk is the difficulty in selecting right participants. To address this risk, the organizers will send out invitation to SMEWG focal points of APEC economies. SMEWG focal points will take responsibilities to inform domestic Ministries/Agencies to select right participants and nominate these participants to the Project Overseers. The SMEWG focal points will be the focal point to nominate participants (including speakers) attending the Workshop.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The first indicator to be used is to assess whether the Workshop meets its set objectives. This can be assessed comparing what participants gain from the Workshop (using evaluation form) and whether the Workshop is able to produce practical recommendations to be submitted to relevant APEC committees/WGs/fora. PO expects the level of knowledge of most participants will be increased from “low” to “medium”.

The second indicator can be the quality of speakers. This can be assessed by compiling comments of participants in the evaluation forms.

The third indicator relates to gender issue: How many female participants can attend and learn knowledge/experience at the Workshop and how many female speakers can come and share their expertise and experiences. PO expects 40% of Workshop participants will be female and 2-3 speakers/moderators will be female.

The fourth one is communication indicator in order to know how widely the Workshop’s materials will be disseminated to interested groups in APEC: it is planned that presentations and documents of the Workshop will be made available via the APEC Meeting Document Database. The Project’s Report will be presented to SMEWG for consideration.

Linkages

Project organizers will bring together: policy-makers/ regulators/ FTA negotiators of APEC economies, experts from international organizations such as OECD, academic representatives etc. to share information on FTAs and some specific Chapters under FTAs (trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin etc). On completion of the Workshop, a final report with recommendations will be circulated to SMEWG for reference.

Sustainability

After the Workshop takes place, the Project Organizers will work with consultants and speakers to develop recommendations for concrete, future steps that are selected based on the input provided by the Workshop. These recommendations will be sent to SMEWG. SMEWG will consider and if possible, endorse the recommendations as well as the follow-up activities developed from the Workshop.

The Workshop materials will be available for use by participants, economies, stakeholders and beneficiaries long after the project has been completed, through its availability as a handout document and online at no cost on the AIMP. Further, the information and experience gathered at the Workshop will contribute towards SMEs’ capacity in FTA utilization. References, presentations, and recommendations from this Workshop may form a good baseline. Workshop speakers and participants are also valuable resources to get inputs or experts for future survey, questionnaires, field trips or other activities.

Upon discussions and recommendations made at the Workshop, there may be further activities to sustain this Workshop in the future. For example, the SMEWG members may approve the issuance of a user-friendly reference guidebook of FTA Utilization, or SMEWG may submit some recommendations from the Workshop to SME Ministerial Meeting for consideration etc.

The outcomes and recommendations of this Workshop may be used as the input for future projects/ studies in SMEWG. The Workshop’s outcomes, including follow-up recommendations will be highlighted in the “next steps” section of the Completion Report of the project.

Project Overseers

1.     Name: Ms Pham Quynh Mai

Organisation: Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

Address: 54 Hai Ba Trung street, Ha Noi city, Viet Nam

Tel: +84-24-222-055-22

Fax: +84-24-222-025-25

E-mail: maipq@moit.gov.vn

Ms. Pham Quynh Mai got her Master Degree in the University of Sussex, the United Kingdom. She was the Vice Chair of the CTI in 2006. Since 2011, she has been the Acting Senior Official of Viet Nam for APEC in several APEC Senior Official Meetings.

2.     Name: Ms Vu Lien Huong

Organisation: Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

Address: 54 Hai Ba Trung street, Ha Noi city, Viet Nam

Tel: +84-24-222-054-19

Fax: +84-24-222-025-25

E-mail: huongvl@moit.gov.vn and patbeo81@gmail.com

Ms Vu Lien Huong got her Master Degree in the University of Leeds, the United Kingdom. Since 2003, she has been actively engaged in APEC cooperation activities, including those under the Committee on Trade and Investment, SOM supervision, SCE and APEC Ministerial processes etc.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Consultant: will work with speakers and discussants in drafting, revising and finalizing agenda; conduct researches, collect, analyze and synthesize data; develop curriculum for the Workshop (including exercises); take notes; develop and finalize the report of the Workshop with recommendations; work as a coordinator in all substantive matters (240 hours total), seek APEC Funding.

Secretaries: will assist consultant to organize the Workshop (substance and paperwork) (400 hours total), self-fund.

Short-term staffs (clerks): will handle logistic arrangements for the organization of the Workshop (600 hours total), self-fund.

Waivers

Waiver

Justification

Waiver for advance payment

Travel airfare, per diem for speakers, active participants – to encourage participation in the project.

Waiver to fund governmental officials from non-travel eligible member economies, non-APEC members and representatives of international organizations as speakers for airfare and per diem

Most of the time, even non-travel eligible member economies government officials are subject to budgetary constraints as such, withdrawal of commitment from the project is unavoidable. PO will seek for SMEWG’s approval in case of non-member participants/speakers attending the Workshop.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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